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'Ramy' asks all the right questions about millennial Muslim identity

(04/16/19 4:05am)

“Ramy” has the familiar trappings of any other dramedy about any other millennial: Our protagonist, Ramy (Ramy Youssef, who is also writer, director and co-producer), is a 20-something working at a sinking tech start-up, stumbling through the last chapter of his bildungsroman and trying to figure it all out before he hits his 30s. He spends his days bantering with buddies Ahmed (Dave Merheje) and Mo (Mohammed Amer) and devotes his nights to pulsing dance parties and soon-to-be hook-ups. But interspersed between these slices-of-life akin to “Girls” or “Master of None,” we see Ramy somewhere else: at home in Jersey, where he lives with his very-Arab parents, and at the local masjid, which is as much a refuge as it is a well-worn pillar in his day-to-day life as a Muslim. The series’ first three episodes, which were advance screened last Friday at White Lecture Hall, make it clear that Ramy is Muslim Muslim. He 100% “buys into it,” and he has only some qualms about it.

Rock band Habibi perfectly blends music and identity at the Pinhook

(04/16/19 4:00am)

Confidently sauntering on stage, each with a unique jumpsuit and head full of hair, the members of Habibi gracefully transformed the Pinhook into a blend of cultural identities and diverse backgrounds Thursday night. Within seconds, I was hooked, admiring not only their distinctive sound — a mix of psychedelic rock, classic ‘60s sounds and Middle Eastern melodies — but their powerful stage presence.

Where could Duke football quarterback Daniel Jones land in the 2019 NFL Draft?

(04/16/19 2:28am)

In 10 short days, Commissioner Roger Goodell will be stepping out onto the stage in Nashville to begin the 2019 NFL Draft. And over the span of less than 48 hours, 254 players will hear their names called, marking the first step in their careers as professional football players.

A review of Marvin Bagley III’s mixtape 'The Calm Before the Storm'

(04/15/19 12:00pm)

In his lone season in a Duke uniform, Marvin Bagley III had some of the best single-season statistics in Duke history, scoring the most points ever by a freshman at the time and posting the first-ever 30-point, 20-rebound game in the Coach K era. But it turns out those aren’t the only records he’s dropping.

Duke alum Jacob Tobia discusses new book 'Sissy,' gender and activism

(04/15/19 4:30am)

Member of Forbes 30 under 30 and Out 100, Jacob Tobia, T’14, is a writer and producer, known for their work as the creator and producer of MSNBC’s “Queer 2.0” and as producer of “Transparent.” They recently wrote the book “Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story,” a memoir that questions societal binaries in gender. The Chronicle spoke with Tobia about their new book and career in activism. 

Full Frame 2019: 'Midnight Family' explores underground world of private ambulances

(04/15/19 4:15am)

"Midnight Family" follows the Ochoa family, who runs a private ambulance company in Mexico City. Nine million people reside there, but less than 45 government ambulances are running, according to the film. Luke Lorentzen shot and directed the film over a three-year period, and he stayed with the Ochoa family for some 80 to 90 nights in their private ambulance. “Midnight Family” screened at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival after premiering at Sundance earlier this year and winning the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography. The Chronicle spoke with Lorentzen about the Ochoa's business and documenting crisis. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Let justice be done

(04/15/19 2:39pm)

Last week, Georgetown University students voted in favor of a referendum suggesting a $27.20 tuition increase. If the referendum is approved by their Board of Trustees, the extra revenue will be used to fund “charitable purposes” to benefit the descendants of the 272 enslaved people sold by the University in 1838 to pay its debts. In 2017, Georgetown formally apologized for the sale as part of a larger effort to grapple with its history, especially in relation to slavery. That same week, UNC-Chapel Hill Police announced that two people were arrested for the March vandalism of the Unsung Founders Memorial at UNC, a commemoration of labor done by people of color at the university. These two events remind us that the histories of our universities are often intertwined with exploitation, whether of enslaved people or otherwise, and we retain an obligation to confront and expose these histories.